Wisconsin Truck Size and Weight Study

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2008
March 2009
Final Report

Primary Investigator

Teresa Adams, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
2205 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Ph: 608-263-3175


2007 AB 238 requires the Department of Transportation to conduct a comprehensive study to review the system of motor vehicle weight limits on Wisconsin’s highways and bridges. Laws regarding allowable weight limits, lengths, and widths of commercial motor vehicles are designed to ensure safe vehicle operation on Wisconsin’s roadways and to preserve the state’s investment in highway and bridge infrastructure. Federal laws govern limits on the Interstates and other selected state highways. Truck size and weight laws affect the cost of transportation for Wisconsin’s freight shippers and carriers. At the same time, studies have documented the impacts of heavily loaded and overloaded trucks on pavement surfaces and bridge structures. In light of changing patterns of economic growth and logistics, continued increases in truck traffic, and numerous requests for changes to laws, it has become apparent that a comprehensive review of Wisconsin’s state TS&W laws is needed.


  • Propose changes to Wisconsin’s laws that will provide for increases in heavy truck size and/or weight limits when traveling on state and local roads and bridges, in order to support the State’s economic growth.
  • Specify requirements that must be met for vehicles operating at proposed higher allowances, including but not limited to vehicle configurations, designated roads, number of axles, times and seasons of travel, fees, etc.
  • Develop and apply an approach to evaluate impacts of truck size and/or weight increases, with and without various restrictions or conditions, on Wisconsin’s roads and bridges.


  1. Participate in Stakeholder Outreach and Advisory Committee activities of the Size and Weight Study; Review Interim Project Materials.
  2. Coordinate the Peer Review Panel and Facilitate the Peer Review Process.
  3. Review Changing Business Practices and Economic Forces.
  4. Develop Performance-Based Process for Evaluating and Administering Wisconsin TSW Laws.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: June 15, 2008 – June 30, 2009
  • Budget: $100,000
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 02-01
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